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Smaller groups include Russians, Armenians, Vlachs, Karakachans, Greeks, Tatars, and Jews.The 1992 census did not include a category for Pomaks (Bulgarian Muslims), who are often identified as one of Bulgaria's four main ethnic groups and constitute an estimated 3 percent of the population.Both groups are generally considered outsiders by ethnic Bulgarians, in contrast to the more assimilated minorities such as Jews and Armenians.Nevertheless, since all citizens participate in the national economy and polity, a shared national bureaucratic-political culture does exist, both shaped by and shaping the cultural practices of the constituent ethnic groups. Bulgaria is located on the Balkan Peninsula in southeastern Europe.Symbols of incompleteness and loss serve as powerful rallying points for national unity.Images of the peasant, the merchant, the craftsman and entrepreneur, the teacher, and the nationalist revolutionary vie with each other in literature and folklore as icons of the true Bulgarian spirit, which incorporates qualities ranging from honesty and industry to resourcefulness and cunning.This makes discussion of historical trends difficult, and some people may have self-identified on the census differently than they might in other contexts. The national language is Bulgarian, a South Slavic language of the Indo-European language family, which uses the Cyrillic script.

Besides ethnic Bulgarians, there are several ethnic minorities, the most numerous being Turks and Gypsies, with smaller numbers of Armenians, Jews, and others.

The dominant national culture is that of the ethnic Bulgarians, and there is little sense of shared national culture among the three main ethnic groups.

Turks usually do not self-identify as Bulgarians, whereas Gypsies often do.

The flag, a tricolor of horizontal stripes (from top: white, green, red), while a visible national emblem, is not so vested with specific meaning.

Among the most potent symbols of Bulgarian national identity are several key historical events: the founding of the Bulgarian states in 6; the partition of Bulgaria in the Treaty of Berlin (1878); the union with Eastern Rumelia (an autonomous Ottoman province created by the partition) in 1885; the successful defense against Serbian encroachment in 1885; and territorial gains, losses, and humiliation in the Balkan wars (1912–1913) and World War I (1914–1918).

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